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‘Arduous’ manganese moves aided by Weba

Custom engineered transfer points from Weba Chute Systems are proving successful in an “arduous application” transferring crushed ore at the Tshipi Borwa Mine in South Africa.   

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The chutes help move crushed ore at Tshipi Borwa Mine
The chutes help move crushed ore at Tshipi Borwa Mine

Based on successes achieved by these custom engineered transfer points, the company said it has received an order to design another 40 chute systems.

 

The Tshipi Borwa Mine, located in the Kalahari Manganese Field in the Northern Cape, is a modern low-cost open-pit manganese operation that has been exporting ore since 2012.

 

Wesley Hunkin, designer at Weba, said that, in total, nine transfer chutes were supplied to the mine late last year, and they include an apron feeder/discharge grizzly feed chute, a crusher feed chute, a grizzly under-pan chute and a dribble chute.

 

“As an OEM recognised for our engineering skills, we are able to leverage this technical expertise and provide transfer point solutions that are suited to arduous applications such as the one at Tshipi Borwa,” said Hunkin.

 

“In addition to manganese being recognised as a heavy material, the large lump sizes being handled at this plant called for robust chutes that would provide extended wear life.”

 

Commenting on the large lump sizes being handled, Hunkin said that particle sizes up to 800mm by 800mm enter the primary crushing circuit, and have posed challenges. The Weba technical team is working closely with the mine personnel to solve these issues.

 

The transfer points after the primary crusher cater for lump sizes of up to 350mm and crushed material is transferred via conveyor flowing through inline chutes before it reaches the stockpile.

 

Included in these chutes is a fixed tripper conveyor chute capable of splitting the flow of material to whichever side of the stock pile required. When material feed direction is changed, it is obviously necessary that the flow of material through the chute does the same.

 

It was necessary to ensure that the fines would not report to the primary stockpile and this was accomplished by incorporating a scraper fines dribble chute within this section of the transfer tower.

 

The chutes are equipped with the Weba Quick Release Lip, which facilitates quick change-out when the chute lip has become worn, saving on maintenance costs.

 

A major advantage of this innovative wear-resistant component is that only the worn section needs to be replaced, and this further reduces costs. All chute systems are equipped with inspection hatches allowing the mine maintenance team to do visual inspections thereby preplanning such replacement.

 

“The order received to engineer the additional 40 chutes can be attributed to the success being achieved with the chutes already installed, and our ability to custom engineer chute systems for both greenfield and brownfield projects,” said Hunkin.

 

“It is always preferable to be involved in a project from the beginning, as this allows the complexity of chute performance to be taken into account at the plant design stage, and material transfer can be optimised by defining the geometry of the chute to reliably convey material from one point to another,” he explained.

 

In reality, this is not always possible, and Weba Chute Systems said that it is often required to engineer systems for retrofit where existing transfer points have proved inadequate.

 

“The company’s depth of experience and technical skill have ensured that workable solutions can be applied in the case of replacement chutes,” it stated.

 

“Weba Chute Systems can point to an installed footprint of more than 4,500 operational chutes worldwide. Transfer points are manufactured at the company’s Wadeville facility which is ISO 9001:2015 accredited.”

 

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